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Thread: Project: The System

  1. #1
    duct tape can fix anything Tavarin's Avatar
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    Feb 2008

    Default Project: The System

    And Now I present to you:

    Edit - Here's Where I'm At

    And in the dark:

    Some of you may have seen the idea for this case in the Idea's Zone under the title "First Case Build," so here are the pictures of the SketchUp's I posted there:

    I'm not much for introductions so I commence.

    Update 1: A Beginning

    I went supply shopping yesterday and picked up several metal supplies:

    You can see there some sheet aluminum, and some angle. The angle looks really flimsy, which is what I thought when my dad suggested I use it, but once you have a complete shape this stuff is really strong. It's also easy to work with - I can cut it with snips, and solder it together - and it is dirt cheap at $4 CAD for 24 feet.

    I also picked up the cheapest case I could find, and several fans, as well as a Zalman CNPS-9500A CPU cooler:

    The first thing I did with this build was actually learn to solder the angle:

    Not the most attractive join in the world, but it's strong, took 3 minutes to do, and you won't even see it with the sides on.

    And now the main reason for me doing this build; my current case:

    As you can see by the horrible tangle of wires inside, there is almost no room for anything in this case, and because of this it's 45 C inside with the side panel on.

    So here is the new victim, the cheapo case I bought for this build:

    It's not a horrible looking case. I almost feel guilty for the fact that I'll be destroying it.

    Once I got the side panels off I knew I had some work to do to dismantle this thing:

    I have never seen more rivets in my life.

    But I got them all out:

    And I also got some USB and audio ports, as well as switches. Nice.

    With the case apart I proceeded to begin making the frame for this case:

    I checked every angle and side length to verify that it was all correct.

    I have no work pictures for the side frame, I was to busy working to get my camera out, so here is one finished side:

    If you look closely you'll see that I was off by the slightest with one of my angles, so the top slopes down at about 3 degrees. But it's not noticeable and it could work, so I'll leave it as it is, and make the second identical to it.

    Once again with no work photos, here is the second side sitting with the first:

    I just could not get them to stand up straight.

    Anyway, the mobo tray is far to big for my case:

    So I marked off my cuts.

    And then set out with a grinder:

    Much better, but it still needs some work.

    So I grinded, and filed those edges smooth, and test fitted it into my frame:

    Perfect fit

    Well that's all the work I've done so far. I'll probably have another update ready in a few hours, I want to get the sides of the frame together tonight.

    Last edited by Tavarin; 04-15-2008 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Show case as it is currently

  2. #2
    I stole p0Pe's cake FrooP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    in your fridge

    Default Re: Project: The System

  3. #3
    duct tape can fix anything Tavarin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Project: The System

    @FrooP - I hadn't seen that worklog before, but now that I see it, they are fairly similar. Mine's going to be shorter and have a different front style, however.

    Update 2 - Frame and Frustration

    As I said I wanted to get the two sides of the frame together, and I have finished that, with a large amount of frustration.

    I started by marking some angle in 9 inch increments:

    Cut one out:

    And made 4 more:

    Some had to be bent to make them the correct angles for the front.

    I tried soldering the new pieces to the existing sides, but that was horrible. It required three clamps, a ton of solder, and nearly ruined the existing join of the side. So I decided to take a different approach. Superglue:

    So much easier, and far prettier. You can see the soldering job on the left piece, it's horrible, and took a long time.

    I did this for all the corners on both sides, and then discovered a wee bit of a problem:

    GAH! Frustration! the whole frame is on a horrible angle.

    So I had to remove every crossbeam and try again - which gave me great confidence in the holding power of superglue; it took a lot of effort to get those off. So here's the process of me redoing it all:

    That's a lot of clamps. This time I used protractors, rulers, and guide lines to ensure every corner was at a proper 90 degrees.

    But it is finally finished, and rather strong:

    It's all straight, I had to put a small spacer in the top right corner to ensure that, but it worked.

    As you can see I put a can of coke in several pictures to give you a general idea of the size of this frame.

    Here's a last picture of the faceplate from the original case next to the new frame:

    My new frame is considerably shorter.

    Anyway, now that I have the frame complete I shall begin working on the siding. I'll update as soon as I've managed to get some progress done.


  4. #4
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Project: The System

    Wow, lots of work, but looks like it will be a solid case when it's done. Watching this one.
    Vapir Air One
    Last edited by blueonblack; 02-24-2011 at 02:21 PM.

  5. #5
    ATX Mental Case
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Project: The System

    i see a CO2 tank in one of the pictures, do you play paintball?

  6. #6
    duct tape can fix anything Tavarin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Project: The System

    @blueonblack - Thanks for the support, I'll do my best to udate often.

    @Braveheart - No I don't play paintball. A friend of mine left that tank at my house so I decided to use it as a weight in one of the corners. I also used a lava lamp. But I do play Air Soft, which is similar.

    Update 3 - The bays

    I know I mentioned earlier that I was going to start work on the siding, but then I realized, what's the point of siding if you don't have any drive bays in the case. So I decided that I'd spend the last 2 days making those bays.

    If you look at my original sketchup's you'll notice that the 5.25" drive bays are offset. But they don't sell bays that are shaped like that. So I had to make my own.

    I began by carefully measuring, and preparing on a sheet of steel:

    On the sheet of paper is my little version, and on the metal the full size plan.

    When I started to prepare to make the holes to hold the drives I realized the design was too short. So I made it bigger and then drilled the holes:

    That took a while.

    Of course I had to test fit all the holes to ensure that the drive would actually fit before I started cutting:

    Well it did

    So I began with the Cutting:

    I am really glad I own a grinder, it only took 10 minutes to cut that out.

    Next I had to bend the sheet into form:

    I did this with my highly sophisticated bending mechanism. Can anyone guess how it works?

    And I once again test fitted a drive:

    You'll notice that this is very tall.

    That's because I will bend those flaps on the top down so I can attach this to my frame:

    Not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works.

    And here it is actually in the frame:

    Fits nicely

    Of course one very important feature of drive bays are tabs to hold the drives in place:

    So I cut a few out.

    Look mommy, no screws!

    And now it is time for the 3.5" drive bays. The ones that came with the case were just fine. So a little bit of super glue:

    And some bolts to hold it all together:

    None of these bolts get in the way of any drives; I tested.

    I also drilled some holes into those lips on the 5.25" bays, and to the base so I could attach it to the frame using bolts:

    And they're done You'll also notice a small piece of aluminum in front of the 3.5" bays. That's to keep the open side at the right size when I have the drives in.

    So a fair amount of work and time later I finished making the drive bays. Of course they're rather ugly, so my next step is tp prime and paint them. They'll be a matte black with a white tribal design on the side of the 5.25" bay. I shall make it look nice.

    Thanks for reading this update, I hope I can get this thing actually looking at least moderatly attractive soon so I can do TBCS proud.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Project: The System

    very nice work for not using some of the bigger and fancier tools that the pro modders here are using :] I'll be keeping an eye on this also.

  8. #8
    duct tape can fix anything Tavarin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Project: The System

    @ShadowNyfe - Thanks. I'm moving soon so my dad took most of our larger tools - the drill press, and band saw etc - so I've been doing it all pretty much by hand.

    Update 4 - Paint and Panel

    I said in my last update that I wanted to paint the drive bays to make them look good. Well that's the first thing I did for this update.

    So I gave the bays a matte black base coat:

    Looking better already.

    But that's far too plain, so I made a stencil of a design I drew up:

    A neat design.

    The design will be in white, so here's how it should look:


    But alas, since I lack white spray paint, the stencil failed. So I made the same design on the side by hand:

    Not as good as it would have been with the stencil, but not bad.

    And here they are in the frame:

    Better than before.

    I also decided to make, or at least start to make, the front panel of the case today.

    So I drew out my plans on some sheet steel:

    The reason for the sides having two lines is because I'll be bending over the sides to go around the frame.

    To make the fan guard on the front I just drilled holes directly into the metal:

    Way too many holes. I also made the holes for the USB and foreward audio.

    Since everything actually fit, I cut out the shape:

    I don't know what I'd do without my grinder.

    So I bent the panel and test fitted it to my frame:


    And then I attached the front ports with some brackets I made, attached the fan, tampered with the frame, and refitted the panel:


    Well I'm not nearly done with this panel, but that's all I'm working on this for today. I still have to make power and reset buttons, and LED holes in the front, and then actually attach this panel to the frame with some form of tabs so i can get it off easily.

    At this point it is a functional case, but we don't settle for functional.

    That's all for today.


  9. #9
    iShot the Sheriff jdbnsn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Project: The System

    can you post a large, flat image of the symbol you want in your header?
    "At the midpoint on the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest, for the clear path was lost..." -Dante Alighieri

  10. #10
    duct tape can fix anything Tavarin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Project: The System

    Here's one

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